Monday, September 12, 2011

I Am A Cylon: Battlestar Galactica Revisted

Long time readers might remember me last year gushing about how much I liked the Battlestar Galactica board game. Well, the annual Bachelor Party came around again and this game was once more front and centre.

TL;DR - Still an awesome game, looking at getting one of the two expansions for it.

We played two games, this time there was 6 of us as Andrew's brother Pete joined the same five we had last year.


Game #1 - Lessons in Treachery 

Players:
Andrew - Helo
Pete - Chief
Metin - Starbuck
Bill - Zarek - President
Dave - Adama - Admiral
Brian - "Boomer" Sharon

The game started slowly for the attacking Cylons but unbeknownst to the human players both sleeper cylons were active, me and Metin. We didn't know each other was out there, but the failed skillchecks started mounting up fast.
Starting Positions.

Early in the game I was president and Dave took it from me in a crisis. I was not pleased as I wanted to try being political leader (and I was a cylon and wanted to negate the president's power) so I made an immediate power play to get it back, arguing that the Admiral and President being the same person was a recipe for disaster. The others didn't buy it  and blocked my bid, putting me on the high probability list for being a cylon.

The humans made good distance early and after a second jump of distance 3 they were still above half for all resources. This was actually a bonus for the cylons as it meant that the cylon sympathizer who appears in the mid point cylon phase is on the cylon side (as opposed to being on the human side if any resource is below half). Pete got the sympathizer card and was sent to the cylon ressurection ship where he started actively trying to thwart the humans.

The suspicions on me got me sent to the brig and soon a skill check came around that removed all doubt. Myself, Metin and Andrew contributed to the check but all the cards except the ones Andrew put in were negative making myself and Metin look like Cylons. I figured the gig was up and my next turn I revealed myself and went to the Cylon locations, while Metin hung around to continue to actively work against them on the Battlestar Galactica.

Up to this point, we were getting a lot of water shortage crises so Brian decided to solve that but accidentally spilling a full glass of water on the game board. While it dried in the sun, we had lunch.

After lunch, with the cylon and human sides out in the open, we worked tirelessly to destroy them. I played a super crisis card and caused the Colonial One to explode. They were getting hounded and damaged by cylon fleets so they forced a jump and lost some population. But finally morale was getting low and Metin finally revealed himself (while still free from the brig) and his reveal cost them their last morale point.

Game, set, match.

Victory as Metin takes the last of the morale away with his reveal!

Game #2 - Death To Smoochy

Bill - Apollo
Dave - Helo
Brian - Baltar
Andrew - Col Tigh - Admiral
Pete - Starbuck
Metin - Roslin - President

Once again I was given a cylon card to start. Damn, I was really hoping to be human this time. Unbeknownst to me, no one else is a cylon at the start.
It did not start well for the humans.
 The game started rough with multiple cylon fleets showing up and a lot (I mean a lot!) of raiders and heavy raiders on the attack. The cost in vipers was high as we worked to the jump but we prevented serious damage and after the jump we worked to repair them as quickly as possible.

Survived the assault, but heavy cost.
 However, another fleet moved in and once more we were on the defensive. The numerous assaults keeps everyone busy and not many skillchecks are obviously failing from sabotage so suspicions are low at the moment. Honestly, with uber-parnoid humans having lost last game and thus using Investigative Committee cards to keep the skillchecks non-secret, plus with no other cylon helping me, I've been unable to do much in the way of real damage.
Here we go again! Scrabble vipers!
 At the halfway distance point morale was just below half so when Brian is revealed as cylon sympathizer he is thrown in the brig but remains human. Pete is the other cylon and reveals himself to throw Andrew in the brig which makes Dave the admiral. Dave is inordinately happy to get the nuke tokens again so suspicions fall on him as the second cylon.
Morale below half already, part of the human plan to avoid the cylon sympathizer.

Yet another cylon fleet!
 As the latest cylon fleet moves in there is a crisis which if failed causes the humans to lose two food. The skillcheck is made public again (stupid Investigative committees!) and I am forced to a decision: publicly cost the fleet two food resources and reveal myself as a cylon, or let the chance go by and hope for another one?

I decided to go for it and hope that the supercrisis I get will help finish the humans off as their resources are running low. I throw negative cards on the check, the food is lost, and I am quickly dispatched to the brig.
Resources running low all over, me and Pete trying to finish them off.
The fleet makes eight distance and needs only one more jump to safety. At this point it has become apparent that two colonial ships on the board are enough if either are lost to doom the humans, so we cylons look for ways to kill them as the humans conspire to keep them alive while navigating other crises.
Either one of those two colonial ship markers are enough to finish the humans if lost.
My supercrisis, a massive cylon fleet activation, is surprisingly passed by the humans so the activation is not as big and this allows them the breathing room to force the jump a turn early with no threat of losing all population (which was down to 2).

Humans win.

Analysis 

This is still an awesome game. The paranoia, the backstabbing, the panic and the relief, it combines to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions and suspense. My only regret is that I didn't get to be a human in one of the games.

You could tell by the second game (our fourth overall) that the humans were starting the get the hang of how to best thwart the cylons: executive orders to make best use of abilities more often, investigative committees for important skill checks to force the cylons out into the open, try and get the sympathizer to be on the human side by letting one resource dip below half early on, etc. Yet despite all that effort they were still one bad roll or skill check from dying.

In hindsight, I wish I had waited to reveal myself a bit longer in the second game, and let Dave dig himself deeper into the suspicion hole he had started to dig for himself. Oh well, next time.

6 comments:

  1. this game sounds ridiculously awesome. I love mindfuck games.

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  2. Sorry Kirith, but Tricia Helfer you are not! XD

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  3. Fraking toaster!

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  4. How long do these games last?

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  5. We started setting upfor the first game at 10am, and had everything put away by 6pm, including a couple breaks for nosh.

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  6. No drinks on the gameboard, but it seems you found out the hard way. Best board game ever, for the best TV show ever.

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